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A Salute to Veterans

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

A Salute to Veterans

In gratitude to those who protect.
Ben  Stein
Nov 11, 2013 at 09:00 AM

In Mosul and Kirkuk and Fallujah, in Forward Operating Base Warhorse near Baghdad, in tents and in corrugated-steel boxes that serve as barracks, men and women in the uniforms of the United States—Marine, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard—sweat and sleep and prepare to go and fight and die and bleed. They risk their lives every single day. They get paid essentially nothing.

The people in the cafés in New York don’t know the people in Khost, Afghanistan, on patrol against the Taliban. The people in the Gulfstreams at Palm Springs airport don’t know the men and women in the Bradleys going down alleys in Baghdad awaiting a thousand pound bomb buried under the packed earth. The people buying Bentleys in Beverly Hills don’t know the military wives who will never see their husbands again or feel their touch. If you ask the wealthy about the men in battle dress uniforms, they act embarrassed. The subject quickly changes.

It’s not supposed to be brought up. But it has to be brought up. Three hundred million people are being protected by men and women they don’t know. The men and women doing the huge deals on Wall Street, the men and women making millions in Hollywood, the men who cannot bear that their yacht is late being delivered, and the politicians in their neat suits—every one of us— is protected by the blood of the men and women in uniform . . . and we’re ignoring their very existence.

Part of this is the way it’s always been, of course.

Some die that others may live. But what’s new, and what’s so insane, is that instead of a nation united behind these men and women in combat, solid like a rock behind their families, we pretend they don’t exist. We pretend that the wars aren’t happening and that what’s real is what’s in People. This is just not right.

To me, it is amazing, incredible, magnificent, and fantastic that men will sign up to die for people they don’t know. It is breathtaking that women will spend years or a lifetime serving the country that pretends they don’t exist. It amazes me, whether the men and women offering up their blood are in the military or the police or the fire departments. It is a screaming miracle. There should be a beacon of thanks shrieking into the sky every second, coming from our hearts and souls. I feel as if our whole nation should be pouring out our hearts in gratitude every day and every night.

I wrote a book called The Real Stars as a small attempt, a tiny attempt, to right the balance—to talk about how insignificant, how negligible, how silly our lives are compared with the lives and deaths of the men and women who wear the uniform.

We cannot all be brave enough to do what they do. We cannot be young enough or strong enough. However, every one of us can pray and every one of us can be on our knees with gratitude.

God bless those sacred souls in their uniforms and in their hospital beds and in their graves—and the military wives and children, the marrow in the backbone of America. God bless those whose fear and courage lets us live in the lavishness and foolishness that is our daily lives.

About Author
Ben  Stein
Ben Stein is probably the closest any man comes these days to being a true renaissance man. His financial and economics work was cited in the efforts of the recent Nobel prize winner in Economics, George Akerlof. He is also the host of the long runni Continue reading